A quick reference for people who want to get 'bumped' in order to obtain a free airline ticket.
Time Required: 60 minutes
- Ask if the flight is overbooked. Call your travel agent the night before scheduled departure.
- Pack flight schedules for other airlines leaving for your destination from the departure airport.
- Get to the airport 90 minutes before scheduled departure. Be first in line at check-in.
- Before agreeing to be bumped, make certain the airline is offering a free ticket or a deeply discounted ticket.
- Before accepting the ticket for another day's travel, tell the agent you want to be sure of today's arrangements.
- Tell the agent you want confirmed reservations on the next flight to today's destination.
- If there is no guaranteed seat on the next flight, tell them you want a guaranteed flight on another airline.
- Consult the flight schedule you packed, and choose an alternate flight that works best for you.
- If your wait for another flight exceeds two hours, inquire about meal vouchers and other perks.
- If you get bumped from the next flight, repeat the above steps. You could get a second free ticket in one day!
- There are rules everyone must follow in a 'bumping' situation, but some of the benefits will vary by airline.
- The rules on bumping are different for international flights. Consult your airline if applicable.
- Under some circumstances, the airlines have to compensate bumped passengers with cash values up to $400 USD. Don't take a ticket that's worth less if you're eligible for the money.